Cubs vs. Nationals Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Nationals are listed as a -152 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Cubs are a +132 underdog and the over-under is 7.
Chicago finished the regular season 92-70 and 44-37 on the road, while Washington comes into the postseason 97-65 overall and 47-34 at home. The Nationals won the season series 4-3, while the total went under four times.
Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) draws the start for the Cubs, while Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52) will go for the Nationals. Hendricks carries a 1.19 WHIP with 123 strikeouts over 139 1/3 innings. He allowed no earned runs on four hits with nine stirkeouts and one walk over five innings in a 2-1 win at St. Louis his last regular season start. He has a 2.83 ERA in 63 1/3 road innings this year. In a start versus Washington, he surrendered three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks over seven ininngs to take the loss. Strasburg boasts a 1.02 WHIP with 204 strikeouts in 175 1/3 innings. He gave up no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over 7 2/3 innings in a 6-1 home win over the Pirates his last start. Strasburg has a 2.75 ERA in 91 2/3 innings at home. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with 13 strikeouts and one walk over seven innings to get the win against the Cubs earlier this season.
Leading Chicago offensively this season are Kris Bryant (.946 OPS, 29 HRs, 73 OPS), Anthony Rizzo (.899 OPS, 32 HRs, 109 RBIs) and Willson Contreras (.855 OPS, 21 HRs, 74 RBIs). Washington is paced by Anthony Rendon (.937 OPS, 25 HRs, 100 RBIs), Bryce Harper (1.008 OPS, 29 HRs, 87 RBIs) and Ryan Zimmerman (.930 OPS, 36 HRs, 108 RBIs).
The Nationals are in comfortable hands sending Strasburg to the mound as he has been in great form the last couple months. While Hendricks has had a fine season of his own, he doesn't quite put fear in a batter's eye quite like Strasburg. Chicago will have a better shot taking game two in this series, but look for the Nationals to get a few runs off Hendricks and ride Strasburg as long as they can.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON NATIONALS -152